Spieth leapfrogs Stenson for Tour Championship lead

Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:21pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth used the magic of his putter to overtake Henrik Stenson and grab a one-stroke lead after Saturday's water-logged third round of the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.

American Spieth poured in a 20-foot birdie putt at the last to cap off a two-under-par 68 that lifted him to an eight-under total of 202 on a layout left drenched after a second successive day of rain.

"It was a fantastic day, two-under in these conditions," a smiling Spieth said. "I'm very pleased with where we stand going into tomorrow, and Henrik's going to come back very strong. This was his off day and so I'm going to have to play even better."

The 22-year-old, quiet the last month after a sensational first half of the year in which he won the Masters and U.S. Open among four titles, stayed within striking distance with a remarkable par-save on 16 and a two-putt from 72 feet on 17.

"Sixteen and 18 were great," he said. "Sixteen was a bit of a slight double breaker, mainly broke right-to-left. Just kind of have to cast it out with the right speed and hopefully it takes the right amount of break.

"I visualize where I think it needs to go and it happened to do just that," added Spieth, who has not had a three-putt in 82 holes.

Swede Stenson began the drizzly day with a three-shot lead over Spieth, but his mastery of the venerable course waned in the soggy conditions as he posted four bogeys and two birdies for 72 and a 203 aggregate.

Stenson clung to a one-shot lead before bogeying the 17th after knocking his approach into the right bunker, short-siding himself to the pin with the green sloping away. His sand shot ran 35 feet past the cup and he two-putted for bogey.   Continued...

Sep 26, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth takes a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the third round of the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports